-by Griffin Cooper
When I wrote On the Road I was shopping.
Scrolling through sticky blue and purple hues.
A country tune plays the theme songs to
ads for oriental televisions
and it’s all a little too easy isn’t it?
That’s when I wrote On the Road.
Maybe I’ll hop the next FedEx truck and
Scribble On the Road on the back of
I’ll listen to those whirring synthetics,
pants, and cat litter and think
Wham! Listen to that!
That’s the West,
Here I am in the West.
Modest ambitions of frontiersmen walk
beside me, slip and a trip here and there.
Up ahead the little Indian children break
the trail for us.
I will be sure to include them in my
On the Road.
Sometimes the road narrows and I’m
surrounded by phalanxes of Ashes and Oaks.
Whitman’s royal guard of Sugar Maples keep
him shrouded in sovereign desolation.
Twisted branches and broken bits of
guardrails tear into my soft palms.
This road is not as traveled as it
used to be.
Thirty years of American whispers
Have written On the Road.
The Catskills cry deep blue tears that
quench the thirst of the Old Smokies
whose yodeling yell blows wet hot
air into the Wild Cascades.
It is wild, and there are wild beasts
out there Jack.
Hello? Does anyone know I’m
writing On the Road?
Bear Mountain is still up here.
My silver slippers have been worn
ragged down to their holographic
Sundried pavement and cigarette butt
hitchhikers discarded somewhere
between six and I-70.
But that’s the road,
and I am writing On the Road.
At night I wait under a streetlight and
some graybeard resembling Ol’ Bill
paces pensively staring at his phone.
He bee-bops around me a bit and
explains things, it’s mostly gibberish.
He wrote On the Road too.
From every HalfMoon diner high
in the Adirondacks, every 7-11
along 66, thousands of gumball machines,
millions even, watching vagrants,
lumberjacks, moms and pops,
losers and slaves
I wrote On the Road.
When the sun sets on America and
I sit on the New Paterson Palisades
and watch that unbelievable bulge
I do think of Dean Moriarty.
Dean Mor-i-ar-ty and silence,
listless wandering on Seventh Avenue,
The West Wind thunders,
blowing old Apache bones
out of the desert sand and
they sing the rhythm of some
sonic pop song instantly
visible to every American
eardrum and enjambment
everywhere always enjambment.
If I stand on top of my shanty and
sing myself to the West it will call
back to me still.
And man, you can hear everything
out here, I mean every bit of
I am on the road now-
Now I am on the road.
Griffin is a graduate of Suny New Paltz where he majored in English and is currently pursuing his Graduate studies while writing for us here at Main Street Magazine as well as several other publications throughout the Hudson Valley. In his endless quest for authorship, Griffin continues his perilous pursuit through the pitfalls of poetry and prose…and alliteration.